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Setting Up Church Online
Setting Up Church Online
This will help you create a church online for you website.
Eli Cox avatar
Written by Eli Cox
Updated over a week ago

If you are already live-streaming your services, or are thinking about it, one great tool The Church Co has is the Church Online Block! You can easily create a great-looking page for your online viewers directly on your website, this is a huge win! So let's get started!

First, a few things that the Church Online Block is, and is not:

  • The Church Online Block IS NOT:

    • a live-streaming service or platform

...that's it! The tool is super powerful, and all it needs is your live stream to be up and running!

  • Now, what the Church Online Block IS:

    • a clean video interface experience

    • a great way to connect people with their next steps while they way online

    • a way to welcome people virtually with offline features

    • a safe way for people to chat with one another online

    • a secure and simple way for people to give while they are watching

    • a way for people to take notes while staying engaged with your speaker

    • and so much more!

The Church Online Block is one of the greatest features on the platform, so let's set it up!

You will start by navigating to the page that you would like to have as your Church Online watch page, then opening the visual editor for that page. From there, click on the + symbol to add a new block element, and choose the Church Online Block.

Like with most other blocks on the platform, you have a Headings section first where you can enter a Title and some text for your block. You can also include some button links. All of this content will appear directly above your video block and other elements.

I added a Title, using the service times of when there is actually a live stream service for people to watch, with a description of how they could connect, and then a couple of call to action buttons for people. The best practice for this Heading area would be to make this content any buttons more broad or generic for your church. We will get more detailed a little lower. But this will help create some easy and consistent info.

You can also not use the heading section, and just straight to the Church Online tab, and use those options. Both are great choices! I am going to use a combination of both for this example! So now, let's click on the second tab, Church Online.

This opens up a lot of options for creating and customizing your church online section, let's look at it piece by piece.

Embed Code:

This is the area where you will paste the HTML embed code coming from your live streaming provider. Depending on who your provider is, this code may vary slightly, but no matter - this is where you add in your actual live feed.

An alternative option is to use the "Latest from RSS Feed" option. This is most commonly used with YouTube and allows you to paste in an RSS Feed URL for a playlist or channel. Whenever a page is loaded, this would display the latest video in the feed for it to show.

Livestream Schedule

This next section is very important because it tells the platform when to display your live content (embed or RSS), and when to show offline content.

When you click on New Live Event, you then get to select the day of the week for the schedule, as well as the start and end times. I would recommend starting a few minutes before your service starts time and ending a few minutes afterward. My service starts at 10 am and will last for 65 minutes, so I am going to choose to start the Livestream Schedule 10 minutes early, and then end it 5 minutes afterward.

If you have multiple services back to back on the same day, you can either create multiple live events for each one, or you can create one that lasts through all of them. If you have services on different days of the week, you can add them in by creating a new live event just like the first one.

Offline Mode

Next is offline mode. This is one of the most powerful parts of the Church Online Block because it allows you to welcome and engage with people all throughout the week, not just on Sundays. It also allows you the ability to control what people see throughout the week. Here are a couple of options:

  • the latest service video or message from that past weekend

  • a welcoming video directly for the online audience

  • an image/graphic that communicates something valuable to people who are accessing your church's online page during the week

If you choose Image, you are then given the option to add an image from your media. If you choose Video, you are then given a box to add the URL of the video you would like to have it play offline (from either Vimeo or Youtube).

Stack Title

The final section is the Stack, which is best described as a column that sits beside or beneath the video block full of next steps and action options for your viewers. The goal of this section is to engage people without having them navigate away from your actual video content.

So start by giving it a title, then click on "New Item".

Then you will see a dropdown option for the Section Type. When you click on this you are given a few options for the type of stack element you can use.

  • Sermon Note Taker: this allows people to see Notes that you have added in the "Notes" section of the dashboard for a message or sermon directly in the Church Online Block

  • Online Giving: this allows people to give directly on this page, whether you are using the Online Giving option through the Church Co, or another option. The online giving selection is also the best way to send people to an external link if you needed to and wanted to use one of the Stacks, instead of making it a button in the Heading of the block.

  • Prayer Requests: this allows people to submit prayer requests online, using the Prayer Request feature.

  • Simple Form: this allows people to fill out any forms you have created on the Church Co platform.

  • Live Chat: this creates a place for people to chat live with one another during the live stream services.

  • Custom: this allows you the ability to add your own content via a text editor. So this could be text, images, or even an HTML embed code of some form or other external content.

Once you add in those section types for the Stack that you would like, you are all done! Check out a basic example below:

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